2. i am thankful...

...that you finally took to breastfeeding.

Your daddy and I did not take any childcare or birthing classes before you arrived, because so many people we had talked to said that it was mostly common sense and we would forget the rest amidst the excitement of your labor and delivery. The majority of the staff at Lakewood Hospital assumed a basic level of baby knowledge (that we did not possess) when they thrust tiny newborn-you at me and demanded that I feed you.

To my credit, you did not really know what you were doing when it came to eating either. We were a miserable pair for a while: you, crying because you were hungry, me, crying because I couldn't feed you. It was vital that you ate a substantial amount because you were such a big baby, they were worried about your sugar levels. You slept through feedings and nurses would barge in and demand that we wake you with cold wet washclothes, which only served to remind you that I couldn't give you what you desperately wanted. A very sad state indeed.

After several buzzes to the nurses' desk, the hospital lactation specialist, and an at home check-up, we finally found our solution in nipple shields, clear plastic (?) coverings for my real nipple that made it more resemble a bottle so you could latch on easier.

It was a miracle and you ate ferociously. You would wrinkle your little nose like a bear digging into something that bears like to eat. You have steadily remained in the 80+ percentile for weight ever since. You have since outgrown those shields--one day you just up and decided you didn't need them any more, like I imagine you will with training wheels or a nightlight.

Besides being economical and extremely healthy (I like to remind your grandpa that breastmilk is nature's perfect food), it has given us a chance to bond in such an amazing way. It sounds so dumb, and I don't know that you will ever fully understand how powerful it is, but I look forward to putting you to bed each night when I nurse you to sleep (even though that is a bad habit that we will work on at some point before you turn one). We stare at each other and you smile, you fall asleep and it just makes me so tremendously happy that I did not give up on breastfeeding.

I love you and I always want what is best for you and I hope you know that and I promise that I will not still be breastfeeding you when you are in Kindergarten.


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